Voletta Wallace, mother of the late Notorious B.I.G., threw her Second Annual B.I.G. Night Out in New York City last night, an event that benefited the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation.MTV's Ananda Lewis and Ron Grant co-hosted the fundraiser, which was staged at Manhattan's Chelsea Piers. Organizers also honored the founders of the urban apparel company FUBU with the B.I.G. Heart Award, in recognition of FUBU's support of local communities. Aside from music by DJ Mister Cee (who was actually one of the first people to hear Biggie’s demo tape back in the day), the B.I.G. Night Out featured performances by hip-hop soul queen Mary J. Blige and B.I.G.'s widow, R&B diva Faith Evans. Blige told MTV News that she was pleased to participate in the event for the Christopher Wallace Foundation, which provides educational assistance to children residing in Biggie's old neighborhood in Brooklyn, and in other areas of the country, including Atlanta.
"This is like the most important thing," Blige said of the event, "and this is what people forget to do, to give back, so that our children can have somewhere to go. And [kids can] see celebrities [who] just wanna do the right thing and notice that we're human and notice that we're all trying to do the right thing. Nobody's perfect."For the kids to see us here, that's a big deal in itself. I'm just happy to be a part of this cause." [RealAudio] Others in attendance at the event included Jay-Z, producer Deric D-Dot Angelettie, Brandy's brother and "Moesha" co-star Ray-J, radio personalities Angie Martinez and Steph Lova, Bad Boy exec Harve Pierre, and many more. Sean "Puffy" Combs was not able to attend the Second Annual B.I.G. Night Out as he is currently in the midst of a European tour. Last year's inaugural benefit raised over $250,000,
with Sean "Puffy" Combs, Busta Rhymes, and Mase, among others, all coming out to pay tribute Smalls, who was killed in 1997.